The University of Wyoming is partnering with an international company to build a drilling simulation lab that officials expect will be one of the leading facilities of its kind.
When completed in 2019, the laboratory will operate as a way for students to simulate drilling wells, including what happens after drilling. The deal between UW and Drilling Systems, which is headquartered in Bournemouth, England, has been in the works for about 18 months, according to a university press release.
The new program — officially titled the Drilling and Completions Simulation Laboratory — will be housed in the new Engineering Education and Research Building, which is also expected to be completed in 2019. No other facilities will need to be constructed to accommodate the new lab, university spokesman Chad Baldwin said.
“We’re taking the biggest step to make a supercenter,” professor Doug Cuthbertson, who oversees the drilling simulator, said in the press release. “This may be rivaled by one such facility in the world. ... This will teach them how to do things and how to plan.”
It’s unclear what facility Cuthbertson was referring to. Baldwin said he was unsure, and the professor did not return an email. Nor is the cost of the lab or who will pay for it clear.
“Drilling Systems will provide the university with exclusive access to emerging technologies and the ability to influence the development of future products and services that may benefit both parties,” the press release states.
Baldwin said the partnership will benefit the company by potentially providing it with well-trained graduates, while also giving the firm an opportunity to advance technology.
Drilling Systems will support UW’s efforts to be recognized as a Tier-1 university, according to the agreement. The Engineering Education and Research Building is part of the school’s Tier-1 Engineering Initiative.
“A Tier-1 college is a nationally recognized institution of academic excellence and world-class research,” UW has said.
The university will continue to use its current drilling simulator. That equipment will eventually be moved to the new lab space, along with new technology.
Along with the new lab will come new master’s and Ph.D. programs in drilling and completions.
Similar technologies can be found at universities such as Texas A&M, the Colorado School of Mines and Louisiana State.